Agri tourism will help small farmers

Small farmers should learn to sell their produce directly. The Apni Mandi concept is good, but the local retail vendors in these Mandis lure the farmers to sell their produce in bulk at lower rates. Agri tourism will help small farmers attract the consumers to their fields for fresh vegetables and fruits. This should be popularised at the village level. Promotional campaigns through cooperative effort will help popularise the village brands.

Agri tourism refers to visiting an agricultural farm for education and recreation. This would also involve people in agricultural production. Some developed countries have already adopted agri tourism. There are farms and orchards where customers themselves harvest the vegetables and fruits. The grower, in return, gets a higher price than what the middleman would pay him.

There are provisions to rent a fruit tree where consumers select their trees in the beginning of the fruit season, pay in advance and pick the harvest. Such community partnership of growers and consumers will help create long-term rapport and loyalty to the village brands. Farmers will also learn to grow demand-driven products due to continuous interaction with consumers.

SATVINDER K. MANN, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana

Dear readers

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— Editor-in-Chief


Politicians’ ways

It is common practice for leaders not to take any preventive measure in time. Consider floods, drought, earthquake, terrorist activities, train accidents et al. Our leaders are always preoccupied with “projects of general public utility” which never reach the general masses.

Whenever any tragedy occurs, a race starts between the leaders to appear on TV channels, condemn such acts and declare compensation for the dead and the injured. All this is done to cover up their inefficiency and corrupt practices. What prevents them in spending the same amount in taking preventive measures and save the life and property of innocent people?

OM DATT SHARMA, Advocate, Chandigarh

Choked drains

The chocked drains in Faridkot have become a health hazard. It is difficult to breathe safely in the stinking atmosphere. The drains and the nullahs are breeding grounds for insects, flies and mosquitoes. The scavengers don’t clean up drains regularly.

Owing to the contract system, the sanitary conditions have deteriorated in the city. The sweepers don’t do their work even though Faridkot is both district and divisional headquarters. It is also associated with Baba Sheikh Farid and thousands of people pay obeisance daily at the Tilla Baba Farid, situated within the walled City. The surroundings are dirty. The municipal authorities should help improve the sanitary condition.

M.G. GUPTA, Faridkot

Apolitical Governors

The Supreme Court observed recently that political persons should not be appointed Governors. The late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru too had observed that eminent persons in different walks of life should be appointed Governors. The Sarkaria Commission laid down the criterion that only eminent persons should be appointed Governors.

Both the NDA and UPA governments have flouted this rule. Why can’t Flying Sikh Milkha Singh be appointed as Governor of Bihar or Andhra Pradesh where there are acting Governors at present?


Khurana’s troubles

In politics, old is no more gold, but it is deadwood. Sidelining the old and unwanted is the order of the day in Indian politics. So here is a word of advice for Mr Madanlal Khurana. Instead of facing shameful suspensions every now and then for raising his voice against the party and its high command, it would be better if he resigned from the BJP and joined hands with the already expelled firebrand leader Uma Bharti.


Age limit for doctors

The Punjab government has fixed the upper age limit for appointment of doctors at 33 years. The duration of the MBBS course, the basic qualification for appointment of doctors, is five-and-a-half years including the period of internship. The government has not recruited doctors for the last 7-8 years, implying that most doctors aspiring to join government service have now crossed the age and are not eligible for applying.

There is an urgent need to abolish the upper age limit for appointment of government doctors or at least age relaxation of five years should be given so that many doctors will get the opportunity to serve the government.

Dr D.S. BHULLAR, Patiala

Dowry menace

I welcome the Haryana government’s decision to obtain anti-dowry declarations by all male employees. It should take some more steps to tackle the dowry menace. More and more girls in schools and colleges should be encouraged to take part in Scouts, NCC, NSS and games. This will make them bold and inculcate in them self-confidence and independent thinking.

In addition, all pass-out students from professional colleges should be administered the anti-dowry oath at the time of convocation. This will help increase public awareness against this social evil.


Why only Saigal?

Decades ago, Radio Ceylon used to play one song of K.L. Saigal at the end of the Bhule Bisre Geet programme. Now Chandigarh’s Akashwani does the same in its morning programme. Why should it conclude with Saigal’s song always? When equally melodious and scintillating songs by Mohd Rafi, Mukesh, Talat, Kishore, Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum are available, it will be nice to give due credit to their contributions also.

D.P. KARKARA, Kurukshetra

Who will police the police?

The editorial “Uniformed thieves: Car owners, beware of policemen” (March 13) was bold and forthright. Over the years, the police have become notorious for all kinds of crime under the sun so much so that they have degenerated into an “organised goonda force”, bringing a bad name to the most important and sensitive department of the government.

No doubt, black sheep in the police should be weeded out. But who will police the police and come forward to undertake the gigantic operation?

It should be made mandatory for the police officers to file annual returns and statement of assets and property. False entries or statements must invite dismissal from service and confiscation of ill-gotten property. Desperate diseases call for drastic remedies.

General Secretary, HP Lok Sewa
Ambota (Una) 


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